Today we’re talking about heathcare stories again and I’ve got a great activity for your preschool and young school age kids to do with their parents. As you’ve probably heard or even experienced yourself, keeping a journal or a diary can be very therapeutic. For older kids and adults, keeping a journal is fairly easy since they can write. But what about younger kids who are talking but haven’t yet learned the art of stringing letters together to make words? There is in fact a way for these kids to gain the benefits of journaling.
For this activity it is recommened that you use the paper that is half filled with lines and the rest is blank. You can find them in either regular paper size or large flip-chart size. If you don’t have this type of paper, you can make your own by using a ruler and drawing your own lines. Or if you have great handwriting, you can do it on a completely blank piece of paper. Sit down with your child and ask them to tell you the story of their medical experience. If you need to, prompt them by asking questions such as “What did it feel like?” “What did it taste like?” “Why did you go to the hospital?”. You can encourage them to tell it in a story format or let them explain it in their own way.
Once you’ve written down their story, encourage them to draw a picture in the blank space above the words. Depending on how many medical experiences they have, you can make a book out of it. What’s great about this activity is you’re encouraging not only therapeutic expression but also literacy development. In addition if you save the stories, your child now has a reminder of what past medical experiences were like for him or her and it validates what they went through.
So, here’s my example for you to get an idea of what it might look like. Keep in mind that I was channeling my inner 6 year old. I promise I can draw better (though it takes me forever and I would much rather stick with coloring books!)
My Hospital Story for 3-6 Activity Notes
Materials Needed: Paper with lines on half, pen, and crayons or markers.